The Salvation Army - - The Lego Batman Movie: A Marvelous UnmaskingPhotos: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

A Marvelous Unmasking

Batman fumbles through fatherhood in new Lego movie.

February 10, 2017 by Jeanette Levellie

Batman fans who got a small helping of the playful side of the Dark Knight in The Lego Movie in 2014 will receive a full serving this month when The Lego Batman Movie swings into theatres. In the new 3D computer-animated action-comedy release from Warner Animation Studios, Will Arnett returns to voice the lead character, Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Will told Entertainment Weekly that exploring Batman’s moodiness was the intention of creating The Lego Batman Movie. “But as you record a few sessions and you get on these tangents, you end up taking the entire story down a road that wasn’t necessarily the intended one.”

Riddled with Arnett’s gravelly voiced, conceited comments that delighted Lego Movie audiences, Lego Batman provides laughs for both grown-ups and children.

The Lego Movie showed us it’s perfectly OK to laugh at how silly that hammy attitude can come across as at times,” writes Michael Graff in “It looks as though Lego Batman is taking that parody to its logical conclusion by having the whole movie subject to humanizing comedy.”

It’s a Boy!
But the film’s major premise runs deeper than witty sarcasm. If Batman wants to rescue Gotham City from takeover by the sinister Joker (voiced by Zach Galifianakis, The Hangover), he needs to outgrow his self-absorption and think of others.

In an interview with USA Today, director Chris McKay revealed a bit about the relationship between Batman and his iconic arch-nemesis: “The Joker sees himself on the same level as Batman, a peer, at the top of the game. But Batman says that’s not the case, which sends Joker into a spiral trying to prove to Batman that he is indeed the greatest enemy.”

Batman spends his daylight hours fighting evil. But his private life consists of splashing in the bathtub and interacting with his computer. When his butler, Alfred, voiced by Ralph Fiennes, puts a parental control on Batman’s computer, the Dark Knight throws a Lego-style temper tantrum.

“It’s time to stop this unhealthy behaviour,” Alfred declares. “You can’t spend the rest of your life alone, dressed in black and staying up all night.” Alfred insists that Batman needs to take responsibility for his life, starting by raising his son.

Holy horseshoes! Batman has a son?

When he feigns ignorance of the lad, Alfred reminds him that he recently adopted an orphan boy at a charity event.

“I thought I was being sarcastic,” Batman replies.

The Salvation Army - - The Lego Batman Movie: A Marvelous UnmaskingStrength in Numbers Not surprisingly, the adoptee is the miscreant yet adoring Robin (Michael Cera, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), who gives Batman a run for his adoption fee and turns the Batcave—and Batman’s life—upside down. Although Batman is unprepared to trade in his crusader’s cape for a “World’s Best Dad” T-shirt, his heart eventually softens toward Robin. On their first journey outside the Batcave, Batman asks, “Are you ready to follow Batman and maybe learn a few life lessons along the way?”

Sliding into the passenger seat, Robin chirps, “I sure am. But first, where’s the seat belt?”

In a dark, authoritative voice, Batman yells at Robin, “The first lesson is, life doesn’t give you seatbelts!” He later changes his mind when he needs to brake quickly and Robin hits the dashboard.

“Oh, my goodness—I am so sorry,” Batman says. “As soon as we get home, I’m gonna have Alfred install some seat belts.” Then, Batman puts his hand across Robin’s chest to protect him as he gently eases the Batmobile up and away to the safety of home.

Being forced to grow up initially makes Batman madder than a wet cat. But he later realizes that working with friends—including superheroes the producers have yet to reveal—is the power he needs to overcome evil.

God knew this when He planned that we work together to help each other conquer the problems we face daily. The Apostle Paul told the church in Rome, “There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another” (Romans 12:5 Contemporary English Version). When we co-operate as teammates instead of adversaries,  our battles turn to victories.

Holy Guacamole: The Lego Batman Movie Trivia!
1. The password to the Batcave is “Nananananananana—Batman!”

2. The Lego Batman Movie serves as a reunion of Canadians Will Arnett and Michael Cera, who starred opposite each other in Arrested Development.

3. Director Chris Miller revealed that the movie will include “every era of Batman filmmaking” and will be part of a “shared universe,” similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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